Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#MeToo Is About Everyone

Anger is rampant. Accusations are rampant. Accountability is rampant. Men are running for cover, and women feel more empowered than ever before. 

It's embarrassing that in a country with as much potential as the United States, it's taken this long for these voices to be heard. It's also embarrassing that men continue to behave this way.

When we consider the racial and religious divide that has been reignited and supported over the last two years, it's a miracle that anyone dares speak out.

What Is Happening?
Has something fundamentally changed? Have centuries of abuse, harassment and a male dominated society finally started to crumble? Has the pendulum swung so far and so fast that no one is entirely sure what the 'new normal' looks like?

I don't have the answer.

But I do know one thing...


"We are not supposed to be afraid of each other."


I've heard that men are afraid to mentor women? 

What?

I've heard that men are not sure how to behave around women? 

What?

I've heard that women and men are being so cautious, that it is impacting how and when work actually gets done.

WHAT?!


The Missing Piece
Where is the leadership? Why isn't someone offering a balanced point of view? Why isn't someone demanding civil discourse on these complicated issues? Why are men running scared, when they should be standing up and making their voices heard in support of their colleagues, friends and family?

Where are the powerful male voices supporting #MeToo?

Mainstream media doesn't provide any leadership from the left or the right.

Political leaders who have the most influence are clearly falling short.

Many companies espouse "equality" and "value their employees" but I see precious little in writing, and even less 'action' from their leaders, taking a stand.

Who, then, is going to lead the way? Here's the answer...you and I are going to do it. 

We are going to have the difficult conversations. We are going to write in a calm, thought-provoking way to ensure opinions and ideas are heard. 

We are going to listen to each other. 

We are going to be role models for our children, our employees, and our leaders.

You and I are going to lead the way.

How About You
How do you feel about our world? Does your company's leadership team openly discuss these challenging issues? Is there a candid conversation occurring in your organization that sets an example for us all? What about you...how are you leading the way?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Standing In the Middle of a Time of Worry

Long title, I know. It's a line from a song that is pretty cool. But it speaks to something so pervasive in the workplace (and outside the workplace too.)

The weight of...everything.

So much to accomplish. 
So many projects. 
So many needs for the right talent doing the right things at the right time.

...and so much extra anxiety because we're always in CYA mode.

Friends, this is simply exhausting.

A New Way
I think a lot about pressure. The pressure that executive leadership brings. The pressure to deliver results for the companies that hire us. The pressure to grow my company. Oh, and also to stay on top of every facet of my personal life as well.

No big deal, right?

If we're constantly thinking about being the best we can be, and trying to follow the arcane school of thought that we should just "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and handle everything alone" we're way off-base.

Life is not an individual journey.

So, what options do we have?



Finding Center
For me, it's been a long process. Finding my way back to a set of values and beliefs that provides a completely new sense of who am I, the power I have to make a difference, and the support that is all around me has been nothing short of profound.

It's been a return to my core values, if you will. A renewed sense of something larger than me, all around me, that fills me with peace and strength...confidence and optimism.

When you find that "center" in your life, it means that you...
- trust it
- value it
- believe in it
- have faith in it

...and thrive.

How About You
Have you lost your "center?" It's easy to do. With our frenetic pace, it's no wonder we lose sight of it from time to time. Perhaps today is good day to pause, reflect, and reconnect with what is most important?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Culture of Weakness

I've been blessed to serve in leadership roles for more than twenty years. When I started out, I looked up to, and sometimes laughed at, the 'older' leaders in my organization and how they behaved. (old at that time = 50 or older...which is now...me.)

I See You
I looked at them through two lenses. 

The first was as an admirer...they had years of success under their belt, and wisdom and insight to share with me. I was a sponge, and wanted to learn as much as I possibly could.

The second however, was not so kind. I often considered them out of touch with contemporary strategies, unable to keep up with the rapid pace of change, and their incredibly frustrating risk-averse approach to just about everything.

Has Anything Changed?
Tough question to answer, right? There are still amazing leaders out there who continue to push themselves, and their organizations forward. 

This is often done at significant risk to the bold leader!

There is also a seemingly endless supply of leaders who just aren't courageous enough to take a stand. Why is that still so prevalent? 

I was listening to Laurie Ruettimann's new podcast Let's Fix Work where she interviewed Jason Lauritsen about his views on the workplace... 


One of the most powerful moments in the show was when Jason said what most of us want to say...we just don't want to follow leaders who aren't worth following. 

Preach, brother!

The challenge then, is for us to not be viewed as weak and ineffective, focused only on protecting our status as executives. 

But rather, to be high impact leaders who connect with the entire team in meaningful ways, and have the courage to take risks, make bold decisions, and inspire those around us to stay with the organization and help it flourish.

How About You
What is the leadership culture in your organization? How are you reinforcing, or hopefully, disrupting that culture? What will it take for you to move one step forward towards a new reality?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry

The pace. 

My pace...the hectic, busy, sometimes chaotic whirlwind of life can be a bit much at times. Easy to complain about, right? And also, easy to be thankful for in a world with so much pressure. 

Something More
Amidst the noise, deadlines, expectations and overloaded calendars is something else waiting for us. However, we often don't notice this opportunity because we're always "in a hurry."

When we find ourselves asking if all of this craziness is worth it, I wonder if we also ask how we might offer ourselves in a different way? 

That's right. I'm talking about exploring new ways to contribute.


Stop and Listen
Before we can understand how we might contribute beyond our "busy day full of responsibilities" we must first stop. Simply stop for a few moments, and listen. 

What is your heart calling you to do? 

Who has been whispering in your ear about making a change and adding value in ways you had not previously considered?

How will you eliminate the "hurry" in your life, so you can focus on the most important things? New things? Life-changing things?

How About You
Investing a few moments...or a few hours...to just stop and listen could have a profound effect on you, and those around you. 

Do you have the courage to even give it a try; or, will you quickly glance at your To Do List and hurry along to the next task?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Invisible Boundaries

Balance.
Crossing the line.
Setting expectations.
Role clarity.

Boundaries.

Work/Life Boundaries at Work
Okay, I need to say right away...I struggle with this. In my mind, I need to be available, on-call, and ready to jump into the action at any moment. That's what leaders do, right? 

We're available!

We've decided to forgo a large part of our personal life for the greater good of the organization!

We're role models of leadership effectiveness!

Well, I do love being all of those things...but I'm learning that I don't love being all of those things, all the time.


Boundaries at Home
Where is the balance point between committed leader, and committed person outside of work?

Where is that fine line that separates "dedicated" from hurtful intrusion? 

Is there a sign I should be looking for; or, perhaps that sign comes in the form of a tangled plan that is influenced by our work?

There is no easy answer. One of the thrills of leadership, for me, is the action and drama and sudden intensity that requires a savvy response as the "world" is getting all worked up. But when that world is always worked up it can begin to negatively impact our personal lives.


That's not good...for us as people, or as leaders.

How About You
How do you find the 'life balance' that integrates all of your responsibilities? Where do you draw the lines that ensure you don't give too much of yourself away?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Comfort Betrays

"I didn't see that coming."

"I'm not sure how that happened...everything was working so smoothly."

"What do you mean we're not on schedule?"

(Near) The Top of My Game
I have been unbelievably blessed in my career. I have grown as a professional, as a leader, and ultimately as an executive. Looking back it is clear the opportunities I've had, and the organizations I've worked for...and still do today...have been a #HealthcareHR guy's dream come true.

...and that is part of my struggle.

How many of us continue to push ourselves when things are going well as compared to when we are hungry for success? Is that even possible? Compare the boxing champion who is at the top of their sport with the #1 ranked challenger in the world who wants to take that title away so badly.

How does the champion keep the competitive fire burning?

What are the steps the champion builds into their routine to ensure sustained success?

You + Team
I don't believe there is a magic formula. There isn't a secret to success that is out of reach.

For me, it comes down to a simple plan:
- develop personal habits that drive success (document and repeat them each day)

- build an accountability team that isn't afraid to challenge you to improve

Software won't do it. The latest app won't do it. Listening to self-improvement "gurus" for hours and hours won't do it either.

You have to do it. Get focused. Develop the habits that work for you. Build the team you need. Get started.

...and sustain it.

How About You
Has success crept up on you, and now you have more at risk than ever before? 

This is not a crisis...this is a chance to maintain your competitive edge. This is how you're going to stay sharp, and effective, and continue to think bigger.

What's next for you?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Grind

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "the grind?" Is it how you feel about your job? Is it the burden of life in general? Is it a faux commitment to fitness? 

I'm guessing you didn't feel good about it.

The Grind Can Fuel
If I were to answer those questions honestly, I would admit that sometimes I fall into the negativity trap associated with the grind. I hate that.

What happens most of the time however, is that the grind becomes fuel for me. It moves from another lame excuse about "how busy I am" and "that life is so hectic" and moves me to look at things differently.

Without the pressure of "the grind" I wouldn't take risks.

Without the need to deliver I wouldn't try new things.

Without the constantly changing business world, I would just be another boring leader who thinks talking about work versus actually having to deliver as an executive is "the grind."

The Grind Can Drain
There is a dark side to the grind...one that can overwhelm, exhaust, and wear us out. The biggest risk of this grind is that we believe it is permanent.

Let me say that again...the biggest risk is that we believe the negative grind is permanent.

It's not. Ever.

Work can be frustrating, so what?
Life can be frustrating, so what?

How About You
Important things are supposed to be difficult some of the time. 

That stress can be turned into energy to do things you never thought possible. That pressure can be focused on new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways to take you, and your organization to a new level of performance.

How are you going to embrace the grind today and make a difference in your world?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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